I couldn't resist sharing this sentence. I asked people if they could move just one word, what would it be and where would they put it.
I remember learning about the often misplaced use of "only" when it's used as an adverb. Someone had cleverly shown how the meaning of one sentence could change simply by changing the location of "only." It was a "light bulb" lesson.
Yet, even I have to catch myself because I often misplace "only" while writing ― when I'm writing like I speak. It's common for us to misplace it in speech. In writing, though, we can reread and edit before sharing our words to get it right.
So, for fun, I like to share sentences with "only" as a reminder and to increase our awareness around this adverb. Once you have the awareness, you may find that other adverbs pose similar issues.
In the case of this sentence, if the word "only" is left where it is, it means that the owner wore it but did nothing else to it, such as washed it, decorated it, lent it to a friend, spilled food on it, and so on. She only wore it.
And everyone who answered figured it out! It was a fun exchange, once again. :-)
Meet the Editor
I'm Coreen, and I am a copy editor, writer, instructor, digital marketer, and student of PR and Communications for organizations doing positive work in the world.